Long-range correlations and patterns of recurrence in children and adults’ attention to hierarchical displays

Ramon D. Castillo, Heidi Kloos, John G. Holden, Michael J. Richardson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


In order to make sense of a scene, a person must pay attention to several levels of nested order, ranging from the most differentiated details of the display to the integrated whole. In adults, research shows that the processes of integration and differentiation have the signature of self-organization. Does the same hold for children? The current study addresses this question with children between 6 and 9 years of age, using two tasks that require attention to hierarchical displays. A group of adults were tested as well, for control purposes. To get at the question of self-organization, reaction times were submitted to a detrended fluctuation analysis and a recurrence quantification analysis. H exponents show a long-range correlations (1/f noise), and recurrence measures (percent determinism, maximum line, entropy, and trend), show a deterministic structure of variability being characteristic of self-organizing systems. Findings are discussed in terms of organism-environment coupling that gives rise to fluid attention to hierarchical displays.
Original languageEnglish
Article number138
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Issue numberMAY
Publication statusPublished - 6 May 2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2015. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • recurrence quantification analysis
  • detrended fluctuation analysis
  • 1/f noise
  • self-organization
  • local/global visual processing
  • dynamic systems


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